London Theatre Weekly Round-Up: New National Theatre Season, Reviews for ‘Kiss Me, Kate,’ and more!

Kiss Me, Kate at the London Coliseum

Coming up, you’ll get plenty of opportunities to brush up your Shakespeare — whether you prefer to do that at the National Theatre, Shakespeare’s Globe, the London Coliseum, or all of the above! Find out what’s happening in the world of London theatre this week via your regular Friday news round-up:

Consider this your friendly reminder that you’ve only got one more week to see Cuba Gooding Jr. in Chicago. He gives his last performance 30 June.

Plenty of news on the National Theatre front! Their new season lineup is here. Among other things, we’ll get a new play by David Hare (called I’m Not Running), and the return of director Peter Brook after 50 years away from the National Theatre. He’ll direct The Prisoner (which by the way, he also wrote) in collaboration with Marie-Hélène Estienne. Nina Raine (Consent) will also have a play featured in the new season: a piece called Stories that will star Claudie Blakley.

In case you’re wondering, yes, there will be a few classics as well. How do you feel about a new play by Anthony Neilson inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart?” Or a production of Antony and Cleopatra starring Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo?

And of course, there’s the inevitable return of Follies: in the latter, Alexander Hanson and Joanna Riding will join returning cast members Peter Forbes and Janie Dee. Hanson and Riding will be replacing Imelda Staunton and Philip Quast, which is a tall order. But both Hanson and Riding have extensive experience on West End stages (Riding has won two Olivier Awards, for pete’s sake), so we’re sure they’ll manage just fine.

Also, the National Theatre’s production of Natasha Gordon’s Nine Night will transfer to the West End in December, following its sell-out run in the Dorfman. Set in Jamaica, it’s a piece that explores family rituals following the death of a loved one.

The National Theatre's Nine Night

OK, that may be all the National Theatre news — for now.

More on Pinter at the Pinter! Joining the already stellar lineup of actors preparing to celebrate the legacy of Harold Pinter at the Pinter Theatre are Paapa Essiedu, Maggie Steed, John Simm, Gary Kemp, Keith Allen, and Rupert Graves.

What’s more exciting than a world premiere? How about a world premiere with a great cast? Joining Jim Broadbent in Martin McDonagh’s new A Very Very Very Dark Matter will be Phil Daniels, Elizabeth Berrington, and Johnetta Eula’Mae Ackles. The play, which opens at the Bridge Theatre in October, takes place in Hans Christian Anderson’s attic, where the Danish storyteller keeps a dark secret….

The newly opened Kiss Me, Kate is already churning out 4-star reviews, with critics calling it “glorious” and “a fantastic revival.” Sounds like something you don’t want to miss, if you ask us… So brush up on your Shakespeare and head over to the London Coliseum!

Speaking of Shakespeare, Shakespeare’s Globe has announced its new winter season, which will include Shakespeare’s Macbeth and Richard II, and Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus and Edward II. We’ll also get a few contemporary responses to these classics. Tom Stuart’s After Edward will play, appropriately, after Edward II; and following Doctor Faustus will be Dark Night of the Soul, a feminine response to the Faust story involving a series of female writers.

Then there’s the exciting announcement about Oliver Chris’s new dramatization of Raleigh: The Treason Trial, which will premiere on the very location of Sir Walter Raleigh’s famous trial — Winchester Great Hall. After that, it will play the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. The piece is a verbatim account of Raleigh’s trial, gathered from people who were present at the event in 1603. Now, it will be performed on the same spot, 415 years later. Wow. That’s giving us chills.